The flamboyant Indian all-rounder, Hardik Pandya not bowling for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 is now a concern for the Indian coaches as well. A recent report in Cricbuzz says that coaches and selectors of Team India “feel the balance of the side gets upset with a one-dimensional” skills of Hardik Pandya.
IN IPL 2021, Hardik Pandya is yet to bowl a single delivery. He missed the first couple of matches for MI. The last time he bowled in a T20I was against Sri Lanka in July. It is also believed that Hardik Pandya may not be playing XI for India in teh first game of the T20 World Cup if he is unable to contribute with the ball.
Cricbuzz’s latest report regarding the same read: “The thinking, learned to be shared by the selectors as well, is that Pandya cannot make the XI just for his batting and he was taken into the squad for his proven all-round abilities.”
Shardul Thakur, who is one of the three reserves in the T20 World Cup contingent, can be considered as a replacement for Hardik as he is fit and in form with both ball and bat.
Elaborating the same, the reports added, “With a fit and in-form Shardul Thakur among the standbys and Jayawardene admitting that there are issues with Pandya’s bowling, questions are certain to be raised with Pandya at some stage.”
Former chief selector MSK Prasad reckons Hardik Pandya has to “justify his selection” in the Indian squad by bowling his quota of overs during the IPL. The right-hander has been struggling with the bat as well in IPL 2021.
As per the quotes in Cricbuzz, MSK Prasad said, “He has regained his batting form which was good to see the other night (MI vs PBKS). I hope to see him bowl his quota of four overs in the last leg of the IPL and justify his selection in the World Cup squad.”
The selection committee has the option of making changes in the squad before October 10. The team will assemble in Dubai after the IPL 2021 final on October 15. Meanwhile, the recent reports also suggested that the Indian coaches and other support staff members will leave for Dubai on October 8, and according to the bio-secure protocol of the International Cricket Council (ICC), they will be required to undergo a six-day quarantine on arrival. The ICC has relaxed the quarantine clause for those coming from the IPL’s bio-bubble.